Release Date: Mar 1, 2019
Record label: Carpark Records
With each album, TEEN have pruned and honed their music to get rid of anything that might stand in the way of their ambitious sounds and emotive words. The trimming culminates on Good Fruit, which brings Teeny, Lizzie, and Katherine Lieberson's songs into brilliant, moving focus. On their fourth album, the mix of synth pop and R&B that emerged on The Way and Color and blossomed on Love Yes now sounds ripe, particularly on "Shadow" and "Popular Taste," which strikes the right balance between sleek and cheeky with its ping-ponging keyboards and choppy samples and upholds the band's tradition of killer opening tracks.
True to their name, TEEN are a decidedly restless band. It doesn't seem a mistake that their follow up to 2016's Love Yes chooses its first words, more than a bit defiantly, to be, "I wonder if you get tired of love?" Right away, Good Fruit is tossing the mission statement of their prior LP out the window, and TEEN don't look back. While Love Yes was more than underrated - it's mixture of recapturing the 80's while looking to the future with its desperate examination of desire was intoxicating for those that took the time to know it well - Good Fruit mines both different ground and sound.
For an intellectual, the most difficult part about falling in love is the falling part—yielding control, committing to one bed, dropping anchor in someone else. And perhaps, as sister act TEEN demonstrate on their third album Good Fruit, that's why breakups ache, even the ones that should've happened years ago—we put some work into defying our miserly instincts. With neon-bright synth pop that oscillates between retro and modern, the trio guides us through a journey from star-crossed dependency to cool detachment, where both sides ring with jubilation.
The old idea that each new record a band puts out should be a direct reaction against the last one seems especially pertinent in the case of this fourth LP from New York-via-Halifax trio TEEN. Third album 'Love Yes' fizzed with the joyous crackle of the early stages of a relationship, following it from falling in love through to the honeymoon period. Now, on follow-up 'Good Fruit', they're digging beneath he surface of what follows - uncertainty, self-doubt and, quietly, heartbreak.
C anadian sister trio Teen explored infatuation's first flush on 2016's Love Yes; their fourth record explores its aftermath. Rather than a rancorous breakup album, though, Good Fruit is a meditative, spacious reverie that picks up feelings and examines them from a dreamy distance. Popular Taste opens with a blast of wonky bedroom pop, deploying deliberately scrappy samples to prod at gender roles, but further in there's little of the upbeat bubbliness of Love Yes.